egardless of the survival situation you find yourself in the basic survival gear remains the same. You will need shelter from the elements, water for hydration and food. Suburban Prepper is dedicated to helping people be better prepared in a crisis event. Like me, most people have to live in the suburbs for their job and their families. Suburban Prepper is primarily focused on prepping for those in the suburbs but even if you don’t live in suburbia, I am sure you will still find useful information here. Make sure to sign up for our free newsletter for updates and check out our blog here.
If you are new to prepping. I have provided a short list of essential preps to get you started.
Top Five Survival Gear Items Under $200
Model # B0091G005E ($140.87)
- This is a 55-gallon Barrel Water Storage System which comes with a Water Filter Pump that is detachable and can be used with other system or standalone if you need to draw water from another source
- The barrel is made from food grade plastic
- The system also includes a heavy-duty bung wrench that doubles as a tool to turn off the main gas supply at the meter and can be used on most other sized water barrels
The filtering system uses EPA protocols. It is tested to NSF/ANSI standards 42 and 53. It filters and removes up to 99.99% of bacteria and other contaminants. Using these filters allows you to store water for an extended period without having to use chemicals to treat before drinking.
The system is ideal for drawing water from other sources as well once your emergency supply is depleted. You can draw water from lakes, rivers and streams using the pump to transfer to a container and then pump into the barrel. The system comes with two filters, which can filter up to 100 gallons each. The pump connections are adaptable down to a five-gallon water container.
Water is a priority during any emergency and practically speaking you cannot have too much. Storage and filtration is always a problem, during an emergency, so having a built in filtering system so you can draw water from any source assures you that you can always obtain clean drinking water.
2.) Cooking Appliances and Water Purification System
Model #B004GLCKZC 50045 ($108.99)
- Stainless Steel
- Steel Base Camp holds 50.7 fl. oz. of water (6.3 Cups) Pot holds 32 oz.
- 15 inches tall, weighs 2.6 pounds included is a handy carrying bag
The Kelly cooker is for outside use only. The fuel can be virtually any combustible such as sawdust, small sticks, pinecones, charcoal, dried grasses and so on. It is small enough to be strapped to a backpack in case you have to evacuate.
It uses the same concept as a rocket stove but with many more features such as a water chamber that can be filled up to boil water for drinking and cooking. While the water boils, you can place a cooking pot or frying pan on the top to cook a meal. While the appliance does not get dangerously hot on the outside, it can be used as an emergency heater for outside use only.
Just the fact that you have a means to boil water in a matter of minutes using just a handful of combustibles makes this worth the price. Hot water can be used to prepare dehydrated/freeze dried foods and for bathing and general cleaning. Questionable water can be purified and made safe for drinking in minutes.
Build a fire in the base just as you would any fire. The system includes a small rack that can be placed inside the fire chamber for when you want to use charcoal. The fire chamber limits the oxygen flow over the combustibles which means just a handful of small sticks is enough to cook a meal and boil water for purification. This item is ideal for patios and backyards as a backup cooking/water purification system in any emergency.
3.) Power Source
Model #B000WJEPCI ($103.00)
- This emergency power box contains a rechargeable battery that in turn supplies AC/DC power during an emergency. Charge up cell phones, plug in a lamp or laptop computer. The system includes an emergency radio that has an iPod access port. The box provides 600 amps of cranking power to jump-start a vehicle as well as an air compressor for flat tires or to blow up air mattresses or airbeds.
- The system can be recharged using your vehicle by plugging in the DC charging cord to any DC port in the vehicle or use the included AC adapter for charging inside the home. There is USB port for charging devices that require a USB cord.
It is important that you have the means to keep cell phones charged, two-way radios, and laptop computers if you have access using cellular hot spot services. Communication will be important and cell service may be sporadic as well as Internet services so you need as many options as possible to stay in touch and informed during a crisis.
Model #B000FBNWYK ($109.99)
- This portable chemical toilet can be used anywhere.
- It has a holding tank that contains water and chemicals that help break down the waste and deodorizes at the same time it so you can use this system during any emergency and actually use it and store it in a bedroom.
- The chemicals can be purchased in any camping or RV section of most retail and camping stores.
Many families fail to realize that during an extended power outage the sewer systems will not be operational. The waste management plants need power and when there is a disruption, the plants will close off the system to prevent the flow of waste from overwhelming the plant. They will activate valves that close off the sewer access points. One or two flushes and waste can back up into your home. Of course, when there is a disruption in your water service you cannot use your toilet either. You need a backup system to control waste during emergencies.
5.) Solar Recharging/Power Station
Model #B000CIADLG ($179.99-$253.08)
- With this kit you receive four 15W amorphous solar panels a mounting frame made from PVC a 7-amp charge controller and a 200-watt inverter along with wiring and connection cables
This kit is ideal for charging a battery bank that you may have installed that is currently being charged from the power grid. Some homes have a series of batteries similar to a battery bank used in conjunction with a complete home solar panel system. The batteries would be used during an extended power outage but you would not have the means to recharge the batteries without a solar system. Use this system to charge any appliance or battery during a power disruption to include car batteries.
You can plug cell phones and laptops directly into the system for charging or for immediate use. Plug in a laptop and use all day as long as the sun is shining. Charge up communications systems such as two-way radios and Citizen Band (CB) radios or plug a ham radio system in directly. The system provides 60 watts of direct power so make sure you know the wattage before powering up an appliance. You can also charge up your portable battery power packs that can provide you with AC/DC power. Place the panels virtually anywhere there is ample sunlight, patios, decks, and backyards or even on your roof.
Additional Tools and Equipment
You see the stories on the news and in the newspapers where hikers, skiers, snowmobilers and others have not returned home from their outdoor adventure and are presumed lost. Rescue personnel are usually called out and after days of searching, the ending is not always a happy one. Often time’s hikers and others only prepare for the time they expect to be gone, never considering what happens if they become injured or simply lost. They only carry enough water and food for the hours they expect to be gone, so of course staying overnight in the wilds is not planned for either. Water is heavy at 8.5lbs/3.8kg per gallon so no wants to carry a three-day supply, which if you use the recommended one gallon per day is over 25 pounds. A three-day supply of food is heavy as well so it is rare that anyone starting out on a three-hour hike is prepared to survive for days lost or stranded.
A quality fixed bladed knife is probably one of the most important tools you can carry. It gives you the means to build a shelter and to make other tools for hunting, fishing and self-defense. It can be a digging tool to find water, a fire starting aid and eating utensil.
A stainless steel canteen with nesting cup provides you the means to carry water and to purify a water source by boiling water in the canteen and/or nesting cup. You can brew teas from edible plants/leaves for nutrition and moral comfort and your canteen/nesting cup acts as a cooking vessel once you obtain fish or game. Polish the exterior and it can also be used as a signaling device.
Carry quality rope and it is recommended that you carry at least 50 feet of 550 Paracord. Paracord is comprised of seven inner strands surrounded by a braided sheath. The seven inners strands can themselves be separated for sewing thread, fishing line and general binding. The cordage is also ideal for shelter building, lashing gear, slings for injured limbs, making weapons and for animal snares.
You must have fire-starting tools other than matches because matches are unreliable and hunters, hikers and others have been literally left out in the cold because they relied on them. They can become useless from being carried in your pockets; your body sweat will ruin them. Rain and snow will create humidity even inside your pack so you need tools that are impervious to moisture such as a magnesium stick and/or a Ferro rod. Fire is crucial to your survival and having the tools to create fire can mean the difference between surviving and not. You need to be able to boil water to purify it, and the means to cook wild game and fish, as well as protect yourself from predators, insects and to prevent hypothermia.
You will need a first aid kit and the off the shelf kits are a good start but for wilderness survival, you should add additional items. Add splints for large limbs because mechanical injuries such as broken legs and ankles are common when hiking in the wilderness. You should have several bandanas for securing splints and making slings for injured arms. Carry a quality topical antiseptic such as 10% povidone iodine (name brand Betadine). A pre-threaded suture kit can be a lifesaver if you have to stitch up large cuts other than puncture wounds. There are various sized needles in a suture kit for any size wound. Add compression bandages for bleeding wounds. The blood flow must be stopped with a compression bandage before you can suture the cut.
Carry a small fishing kit that contains the essentials such as hooks, line, sinkers and lures along with various sized sewing needles. Fishing is one of the most reliable and quickest ways to obtain food in a wilderness environment. Even without a fishing kit, you can use strands from 550 Paracord for fishing line and you can carve fishhooks from wood and bone or twist bits of metal or wire into hooks. Using your knife, you can make fishing spears and poles as well as make fish traps/netting from saplings, and rope. Put together your own kit or purchase one already put together for you. Carry 15-20 pound monofilament line in addition to whatever is in your kit. Monofilament is less brittle and can be used as sewing thread for emergency wound closure and general gear and clothing repair. The line can be immersed in hot water to soften and sterilize for wound stitching.
The survival gear, tools and equipment listed provides you the means to make a shelter from what you find in your environment, the tools to make fire and for purifying water by boiling and gives you the gear to obtain food. Without shelter, water and food you cannot survive in a wilderness environment. However, you cannot be expected to carry enough water and food to last you indefinably so you must carry the proper survival gear, tools and equipment to construct a shelter, collect and purify a water source and have the means to obtain food if you do become lost or stranded. The list of survival gear, tools and equipment will provide you the means to survive in any situation, so even if you only carry a few hours’ worth of food and water you can survive days lost or stranded because you have the means to obtain what you need from your environment.